GLADWIN – The Gladwin Post 171 American Legion Baseball team left Gladwin High School at 6:30 Tuesday morning for the seven-hour trip to Eastern Illinois University in Charleston for the Great Lakes Regional Tournament. Post 171 qualified for the tournament due to their victorious run through the state tournament in July. Carson Longstreth won the Ki Ki Cuyler MVP award for his stellar play in the tournament. Cuyler, originally from Harrisville Michigan, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968. He is considered one of the best hitters of all time.
As sponsors of the program the American Legion pays the expenses for the teams participating in the tournament. Gladwin was provided with motor coach transportation along with housing for the players and coaches. All of the teams will be staying at Taylor Hall on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. Food is also provided to the participants.
Coach Terry Brokoff hopes to arrive in Charleston by 2 p.m. so that they have time to register and get settled in before their 6 p.m. banquet. He also hopes to get in some type of practice before Wednesdays first game. Post 171 opens tournament play on Wednesday against the Ohio state champion Lowell at 11:15 a.m. Lowell is in southeastern Ohio close to the West Virginia border.
Brokoff continues to be cautiously optimistic about his teams’ chances. They have won five tournaments this season for the first time ever, and seem to be playing their best ball of the year. He said, “The kids are playing really well right now.” He went on to mention that they are playing well in all facets of the game. “We did not commit an error in the state championship against Stevensville, and both our hitting and pitching have been good.” He also mentioned that the comeback from an 8-2 deficit against Berryhill in the Zone Tournament was a turning point. They are 7-0 in Zone and State Tournament play.
Whatever happens this week it’s been a great season for Post 171. The team is thankful for all of the support they have received this year. They want to thank all of the local businesses and the American Legion for their sponsorship. Brokoff mentioned the 23rd “Boys of Summer” winter party and what that means to his program. He wants to make sure that everyone understands how much his or her help is appreciated.
There are several ways to follow Post 171 during the tournament. Post 171 can be found on the Game Changer app, and Victory 103.9 will broadcast all of the tournament games. The Internet link is www.myradiolink.com/victory-103-9/.